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  1. hi Why Athletes Are Using Cannabis for Training and Recovery Specifics on cannabis and fitness are hard to come by. But there's no question the size of the opportunity is large. In May 2018, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association valued the global health club industry alone at $87.2 billion. The U.S. led all markets with $30 billion in health club counts and memberships, the organization said. Cannabis is believed to provide consumers with several beneficial uses, ranging from mental to physical relief. Many athletes have turned to THC and CBD products to treat their bodies after rigorous games and training sessions. Its use extends to fitness enthusiasts of all levels. So much so that a CU Boulder study found that eight out of 10 users in states where cannabis is legal consume shortly before or after working out. 'It has certainly helped me be a better athlete.' The rise of high-level athletes and cannabis training programs have led to a boom in the the sector. In many cases, they are being led by athletes from major sports leagues including the NFL, NBA, UFC, PGA and several others. Partnerships are one of the key ways athletes enter the cannabis business. Wana Brands is a Colorado-based infused products company with operations in Oregon, Nevada and Arizona as well. The company supports two athletes: ultra-marathoner Flavie Dokken, and yogi Martha Triantafillides. Cannabis is a natural alternative for recovery and pain relief, Dokken said in a press release. The former bodybuilder and U.S. Army veteran said he strives to educate others. “I want to educate more people on how cannabis can improve the quality of their workout. It has certainly helped me be a better athlete.” How one couple incorporates cannabis into exercise. Athletes like Antonio and Heather DeRose have incorporated cannabis into their business. The husband-and-wife duo are the co-founders of Superior, Colorado-based Green House Healthy. The company serves as an education and advocacy platform focused on eco-friendly efforts as well as plant-based diets and nutrition. Both the DeRoses quit decade-long careers in finance to move from Missouri to Colorado and work in cannabis. After a few jobs in the field, the two got into running and eventually did the entire Four Twenty Games, now the Civilized Games, across five states. Since then, the two have participated in numerous endurance challenges and races. They are also NASM Certified Personal Trainers and official NORML athletes, among other accolades. The couple was on an eight-person Ragnar Relay Series team that used cannabis products, Antonio said. "I personally prefer to consume flower especially before I run, because it works as a bronchodilator. But there were members of our team that didn't consume cannabis per se," he said. “They consumed hemp CBD topicals and they were using those on certain areas of their body that got sore to help with the inflammation and the pain. So, there is a wide scale between what works for each individual's endocannabinoid system." The couple said cannabis helps athletes not just with inflammation and pain, but also with sleep -- a key component of recovery. Heather said cannabis consumption can benefit everyday fitness enthusiasts. "Some people consume cannabis and it helps motivate them to get active. It helps them get out of chronic pain, to allow themselves to get moving and not feel horrible during the whole process," she said. "At worst, some people just consume it for recovery instead of using synthetic ibuprofen that has harmful side effects." https://www.greenentrepreneur.com/article/333593 Bongme
  2. Hi Can You Donate Blood if you Smoke Weed? (Yes) You Can Still Donate If You Smoke Weed. In no way, shape, or form is consuming any kind of cannabis a disqualification for a blood donation! Blood banks will only refuse intoxicated (cannabis, alcohol, etc.) potential donors. The reason donors cannot be high at the time of drawing is that blood banks disqualify candidates whose state compromises their ability to give an accurate medical history or legal consent. So far, you’ve gotten the go-ahead to donate but been advised not to consume cannabis right before donation. Cannabis users ought to also beware, however, of ingesting immediately after donation, too. Whiting Out, recognized by paling skin and disorientation or fainting, may occur if users ingest cannabis within two hours of donating. Popular Quick Reference Questions & Answers Is donated blood tested for THC content? Nope! Donated blood is not tested for THC. Can I donate plasma if I smoke marijuana? You may! Donor qualifications for plasma do not differ on THC content. Can somebody who uses topical or tincture marijuana products still donate blood? Dabs, concentrates, bongs, volcanoes, joints, edibles, etc. etc. etc. — no marijuana product usage disqualifies a donor! I do not live in a state where marijuana is legal. Is it okay to disclose that I consume? Yes! Blood donation centers are not in the business of reporting federal or state legal infractions, and medical professionals are briefed on policy governing THC content in donated blood. I smoked marijuana last night… Can I still disclose that? That is a question for you! Ethically, you ought to disclose that information and your donation will be refused, because you are considered high or ‘unwell’ up to 24 hours after ingesting cannabis. Does anyone get hurt if I donate while high? No! You are considered ‘unwell’ and not eligible to donate if you admit to being high. If you go through with donating anyway, rest assured nobody will be hurt. Blood saves lives. THC content does not preclude or hinder blood’s life-saving properties. THC in Blood vs Urine (drug testing) Anyone who has been subjected to a drug test may recall that heavy cannabis use can be detected in urine for up to three months (90 days) after ingestion. This is because THC absorbs into the body’s fats and is excreted through urine. Fats retain THC stores, blood does not – it purges THC quickly. An occasional user shows minimal traces of THC after 24 hours. A regular user will retain traces of THC in blood for 2 – 7 days. Again, THC content does not disqualify a potential blood donor. International Stances on Blood THC Content Cannabis science is complex and evolving. The United States is not the historical leader in cannabis research and so facts differ around the world. Many world governments, however, agree with the general policy line taken by organizations like Red Cross. In England, the National Health Service (NHS) does not test for THC in donated blood and does not reject donors on the basis of current usage. For reference, recreational cannabis is popular but still 100% illegal and possession is a criminal offense in the UK. The english academic community is slowing shitfting toward acceptance. On the sliding scale of cannabis conservatism, the USA and UK are smack in the middle. In April 2018, Canada removed an obligatory 12-hour waiting period required following cannabis use. Canada has essentially admitted that there is no medical reasoning behind barring THCin donations. Other countries and organizations have avoided this explicit admission. Conversely, India considers marijuana a hard drug with addictive qualities that disqualify users from donating blood forever. Diagnostic Considerations for Donating Blood Donating entails a short screening process meant to uncover possible disqualifying factors in a donor’s health history. Potential donors answer questions about health procedures, recent travel, and sexual history. All pre-screening diagnostics evaluate suitability for donation, not necessarily overall health. Blood banks do perform a small physical to screen for syphilis, red cell count, and protein levels. Giving blood also requires donors to weigh over 110 pounds and be 17+ or 16 with parental consent (depending on the state). https://www.wikileaf.com/thestash/donate-blood-smoke-weed/ Bongme
  3. Hi Please Note for all studies there is a read more link for an in-depth read Top 10 New Studies On The Effects of Marijuana t’s been an exciting 12-months for cannabis research. Check out these top 10 marijuana studies published within the last year. Every year, researchers discover more about marijuana and its effects. Celebrate 4/20 this year by learning what we know about cannabis in 2019 that we didn’t know at the beginning of 2018. 1. Cannabis Users Have a Better Chance of Surviving a Heart Attack Brief Overview: After comparing the hospital records of more than a million heart-attack patients, researchers from the University of Colorado discovered that those who had used cannabis in the past were significantly less likely to die during hospitalization. Patients with a history of marijuana use were also significantly less likely to experience shock or require an intra-aortic balloon pump than patients without. Read more about the study on marijuana use and heart attack outcomes. 2. Cannabis Leaves are Effective Against Staph Infections Brief Overview: It appears that crushed cannabis leaves can effectively fight against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a cause of Staph infection that is resistant to some antibiotics and hard to treat. Researchers from Saaii College of Medical Science and Technology and the University of Gour Banga in India tested the antimicrobial properties of crushed cannabis leaves infused into an ethanol-based tincture. They found the leaves are even more effective when combined with common guava and an evergreen coniferous tree called Thuja orientalis. Read more about the study examining the antimicrobial benefits of cannabis leaves. 3. Myth that Marijuana is a Gateway Drug Again Debunked Brief Overview: That common misconception that marijuana will lead to the use of serious drugs? Research findings published by LiveStories found no connection between having used marijuana and the eventual use of more dangerous and addictive substances like alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, and heroin. It’s not the first study to debunk the myth. Read more about the research investigating whether marijuana use increases the risk of using harmful substances. 4. Medical Marijuana Can Help Combat the Opioid Epidemic Brief Overview: Providing patients with a legal avenue for marijuana appears to lead to a significant drop in prescription opioid use. Researchers from the University of California San Diego and Weill Cornell Medical College looked at whether there is a correlation between medical marijuana legalization and prescription opioid use over a 21-year period. They found legalization led to a nearly 30% drop in opioids, suggesting the patients were opting to treat their pain with cannabis instead. Read more about the study on the effects of medical marijuana legalization on opioid use. 5. We Now Know How Marijuana Stimulates Appetite rief Overview: Marijuana’s appetite-stimulating properties are well-documented, but last year researchers from Washington State University were able to identify how its compounds alter eating behavior. With their animal study, they discovered that marijuana triggers a surge in ghrelin, a hormone responsible for signaling to the brain when it’s time to seek out more food. Read more about the research into marijuana’s appetite-stimulating effects. 6. Medical Marijuana is Gradually Replacing Anti-Anxiety Medications Brief Overview: Anxiety is common in today’s society, and it appears that a growing number of patients are opting to use medical cannabis instead of traditional meds to treat the issue. A team of Canadian researchers found that 30% of medical marijuana patients discontinued their use of anti-anxiety drugs within two months of starting with their cannabis treatment. After six months, that value jumped up to 45%. Read more about the study on cannabis being used in place of traditional meds for anxiety. 7. Legalizing Marijuana Makes the U.S. Southern Border Safer Brief Overview: Cannabis advocates have a new argument they can utilize in their pursuit of legalization: Ending marijuana prohibition makes communities safer. An analysis from the Cato Institute found that smuggling over the U.S. Southern Border has significantly dropped as more states have legalized marijuana. Over a five-year period, Border Patrol seizures fell 78%. The findings suggest that legalization leads to less business for cartels and a subsequent reduction in smuggling-related violence. Read more about the research into the effects of marijuana legalization on smuggling. 8. Frequent Marijuana Use Does NOT Adversely Impact Brain Structure Brief Overview: Using cannabis regularly appears to have no association with brain morphology. A team of 20 investigators from 13 institutions across Australia, the U.S., and the UK examined MRI scans of more than 1,000 young adults and middle-aged men to assess whether habitual marijuana use leads to decreases in gray matter volumes in the brain. They found no such relationship. Read more about the study investigating marijuana use and brain morphology. 9. Older Adults Benefit From Medical Marijuana Too Brief Overview: Providing legal access to medical marijuana can improve the health and employment prospects of older adults. After researchers at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Temple University compared medical marijuana laws to more than 100,000 survey responses from adults 51 years and up, they found that those who qualified for medical marijuana experienced significantly less pain and were able to work more hours. Read more about the research into the effects of legalizing medical marijuana on older adults. (Separately, researchers last year also found that cannabis is “safe and efficacious” for senior adults.) 10. Legal Marijuana Users Consume Less Alcohol Brief Overview: A market research report from Chicago-based High Yield Insights found that adults who use marijuana and live in a state where it’s legal consume 21% fewer cocktails and 20% fewer beers than those who use marijuana but live where it’s illegal. Their report also found legal marijuana use to be associated with reductions in prescription anxiety, pain, and depression medications. Read more about the report’s findings on how marijuana legalization impacts alcohol usage. https://www.benzinga.com/markets/cannabis/19/05/13665391/top-10-new-studies-on-the-effects-of-marijuana Bongme
  4. Hi Happy 4/20: Here’s some science to shut up the cannabis haters Yesterday was April 20, written as 4/20 in the American date format. Every year, this date brings forth much debate about cannabis to the fore. Here’s a round-up about it. April 20th is a holy day for many who imbibe cannabis. For some, it’s just a great day to watch stoner flicks and smoke herb all day. Others view it with more import; especially those who consume cannabis medicinally. To them it’s a celebration of the day they found a therapeutic treatment that works. Every year, around this time, we see an outpouring of testimony in the news and on social media from people whose lives have been positively changed through the addition of medicinal cannabis. These inspiring stories include children who’ve found the first relief in their lives after years of constant, crippling seizures. They also include veterans and abuse survivors who now have another safe method of mental health treatment available to them (in many US states and forward-thinking countries such as Canada). Unfortunately, this time of year is also rife with misinformation and propaganda. There is scientific evidence indicating cannabis use can have potentially harmful side-effects, this much is true. But, compared to eating bacon, drinking wine, or driving a car – well, there’s never been a documented case of someone dying due to the consumption of cannabis. Still, in order to make sure you’re being as informed as possible this 4/20 (and so you can throw some research in the haters’ faces), we’ve decided to round up some of our favorite papers and articles on the subject of cannabis. First off, about that “potentially harmful side-effects” bit… There have been countless studies on “marijuana use” by researchers and academics across the globe. As this article on the US Government’s National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse shows, long-term studies indicate that THC may cause cognitive dysfunction in the human brain. It’s important to remember that none of these studies would appear to show any conclusive evidence that cannabis actually does harm the brain, but instead they attempt to establish a relationship between self-reported cannabis use and temporary or persistent cognitive impairment. Furthermore, a large portion of studies claiming to indicate possible side-effects of cannabis use don’t actually study cannabis. As we wrote last year, many of them use synthetic ‘marijuana‘ to create compounds similar in molecular structure to naturally occurring THC. And then, in many of the studies, all the testing is done on laboratory mice. Synthetic ‘marijuana,’ unlike cannabis, is responsible for tens of thousands of overdoses every year. It goes without saying that people aren’t mice. Though it’s possible to have an allergic reaction or negative emotional response to cannabis, no one has ever overdosed on it. Until long-term studies of humans consuming actual cannabis under laboratory conditions (including proper dosing and measurement) occur, studies claiming to show “links” between cannabis and cognitive dysfunction shouldn’t be getting the media hype they are. A study funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, seeking to discover if cannabis can help PTSD sufferers, states that the problem is there’s been very few studies involving humans and actual cannabis: As a result, our understanding of the potential adverse effects of chronic cannabis use remains meager. Nonetheless, there are indications that cannabis promotes cognitive disturbances, impairs neuronal plasticity and organization in the adolescent brain, promotes persistent functional brain changes, promotes abuse liability and, in highly vulnerable individuals, may exacerbate the course of schizophrenia. At the same time, it may be essential not to go overboard; caution has been recommended concerning “the real risks” of marijuana, and calls have been made for evidence-based analyses of the links between this agent and the occurrence of mental illnesses. On the other hand, there’s mountains of research indicating cannabis has legitimate regenerative healing powers and thousands of years of anecdotal evidence hailing its usefulness as an agent for reducing stress and anxiety. These headlines don’t do as well as the ones with the word “danger” in them. This article, written by Dr. Ethan Russo, indicates cannabis can not only relieve symptoms for people who suffer from migraines, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome, but it could potentially address the underlying cause. Its conclusion: Migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines. Here’s a clinical pharmaceutical study on a sativa-based cannabis drug designed to help chronic pain sufferers get some sleep. The research appears to indicate that “Sativex,” can help provide quality of life: Experience to date with Sativex in numerous Phase I–III studies in 2000 subjects with 1000 patient years of exposure demonstrate marked improvement in subjective sleep parameters in patients with a wide variety of pain conditions including multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathic pain, intractable cancer pain, and rheumatoid arthritis, with an acceptable adverse event profile. Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England and Chief Medical Advisor to the UK Government, published this paper detailing the results of her “review of reviews” concerning the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Its purpose was to help the UK determine whether it should de-schedule cannabis as a Schedule 1 narcotic. Her findings: There is now however, conclusive evidence of the therapeutic benefit of cannabis based medicinal products for certain medical conditions and reasonable evidence of therapeutic benefit in several other medical conditions. This evidence has been reviewed in whole or part, and considered robust, by some of the leading international scientific and regulatory bodies, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO). As Schedule 1 drugs by definition have little or no therapeutic potential, it is therefore now clear that from a scientific point of view keeping cannabis based medicinal products in Schedule 1 is very difficult to defend. A Google Scholar search on the topic of ‘cannabis for therapeutic use‘ will reveal thousands of other examples of research indicating cannabis is a medicinal substance — or at least has the potential to treat mental and physical illness. The bottom line is that the jury is still out on whether cannabis has long-term harmful effects. It’s clear, however, that it has medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Furthermore, as a social lubricant or anxiety-reducer in the recreational capacity, it’s obviously less dangerous to human health and mortality than the consumption of alcohol, over-the-counter pain killers, or tobacco. Have a safe, legal, happy, and informed 4/20! https://qrius.com/happy-4-20-heres-some-science-to-shut-up-the-cannabis-haters/ Bongme
  5. These are the Countries Most Likely to Legalize Weed Next Mexico? Likely. India? Not so much. In October 2018, Canada became the second country after Uruguay—and the first G7 nation—to legalise the recreational use of cannabis. Led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, politicians took the plunge largely to reduce underage access to weed. So who's next? To formulate some well-educated predictions, we spoke to an ace team of weed experts who have been on the frontline of reform, from region to region, for decades. Come with us as we peek into our bud-crusted crystal ball: Central and South America “Mexico will almost certainly legalise and regulate in 2019,” said Tom Blickman, senior project officer at the Transnational Institute, an international social policy NGO based in Holland. Last month, the cross-party Marijuana Regulation Forum met to discuss how Mexico, a country ravaged by drug cartel violence, advances last year's pivotal Supreme Court ruling, which stated that “the effects caused by marijuana do not justify an absolute prohibition on its consumption.” “We’re very hopeful it will pass by the end of this year,” said Hannah Hetzer, senior international policy manager and Latin American liaison at the Drug Policy Alliance, a US drug reform NGO. She adds that the situation is not so clear in other countries across the region, with the exception of Uruguay, which started selling legal marijuana last year (albeit with stringent regulations regarding sales in dispensaries that have seen it unavailable in large parts of the country). Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, and Venezuela have legalised medical weed or decriminalised personal use to varying degrees, while Brazil—currently under the stewardship of President Jair Bolsonaro, who once tweeted that legalisation would benefit “traffickers, rapists and hostage takers”—seems unlikely to embrace reform beyond its current medical allowance. As a region, Central and Latin America are politically volatile, but have a recent history of progressive policy, said Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst at Transform Drug Policy Foundation. “The actions of the United States will be crucial. US reform will also force the UN to reform, and the ripples will cross the globe.” OUR PREDICTION: Mexico to legalize in 2019; Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, and Chile in 2025; Venezuela in 2029. Oceania Last December, legislation was passed in New Zealand allowing the use of medical marijuana. At the same time, it was announced that a binding referendum on legalisation and regulation would be held, alongside the general election, in 2020. “Cannabis law reform is sitting at around 60 percent support in the polls, before we have any specifics about what law reform might look like. That makes many people think it’s a ‘done deal’, but it's more finely balanced than that figure would suggest,” said Sandra Murray, campaign manager for New Zealand’s #makeitlegal campaign. “Support sits at about 72 percent among people under 45—but a big portion of younger people don’t turn out to vote." Nearby, Australia has legalised cannabis for medical use and a 2016 poll by the National Drug Strategy Household suggested 74 percent of Australians favour decriminalisation. Will there be a continental domino effect if New Zealand votes yes in 2020? “In some Australian states, cannabis is already decriminalised and hippy havens such as Nimbin are basically like mini-Aussie Amsterdams,” said Rolles. “It will depend on the next government—a conservative one is less likely to legalise, but public opinion is moving, so it feels inevitable, even if at a state level first, forcing the issue at federal levels rather like the US. Canberra is just about to legalise home-growing too. Australia seems a very likely candidate for reform after New Zealand.” OUR PREDICTION: New Zealand to legalise in 2020, and Australia in 2023. North America All eyes are on Canada. Six months after legalisation, the sky has not fallen, but it hasn't been smooth. Most notably, there's been a shortage of government weed supplies. In the US, spirits among reformers are high, despite the recent high-profile failure to legalise in New Jersey. “There is broad political support to get it passed in New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico over the next one or two years,” said Jag Davies, Director of Communications Strategy at the Drug Policy Alliance. "And there is a good chance of New Hampshire and Illinois passing through the legislative process in the next few years.” But the seismic shift will be a law change at federal level. Most Democratic candidates for 2020 support legalisation, though George McBride, CEO at Hanway Asssociates, a UK-based cannabis industry consultancy, advised caution. “Despite widespread support, I don’t think any potential incoming Democrat would want it to be the first action of a new presidency. So realistically you’re looking at some time during their first term.” With ten states already legalising weed (and another 33 approving it for medical use) and the likelihood of some influential big-hitters following soon, federal reform seems destined regardless of who’s in the Oval Office. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that 62 percent of Americans (including 74 percent of millennials) are in favour of legalising. “Federal resistance is melting away. It’s just not practical anymore, even under another Republican administration,” said Rolles. “Public opinion, even amongst Republicans, is now a majority and that has been the tipping point as support becomes a political asset rather than a liability.” OUR PREDICTION: USA to legalize in 2023. Europe Despite a zephyr of reform blowing across the continent, with many countries moving towards decriminalisation (or de facto decriminalisation) and medical reform, progress at a national level is slow. Except, that is, for little Luxembourg, whose coalition government has already pledged to legalise weed. “This is most likely at the end of the term of this government, sometime in 2022 or 2023,” said Blickman, adding, “It is notable that Luxembourg's announcement has not been met with public disapproval from neighbouring countries.” It will take one of the bigger European countries jumping on board to inspire a sense of enduring change on the continent. Spain is well placed to break the seal: it has a long history of tolerance, stretching back to the 1970s when the Supreme Court ruled that possession of small amounts of drugs would not be an offence. This has helped lead to an entrenched weed culture and cannabis social clubs across the country. “There’s widespread support for medical and recreational reform,” said McBride. “But the central government doesn't want to concede to the semi-autonomous regions and the regions don’t want to cede to the central government. So at the moment there’s a kind-of deadlock.” Italy shouldn’t be discounted either. “Italy has a lot of public support for regulation and they have their own system called ‘cannabis light,’ where they can access very low potency cannabis,” said Henry Fisher, chief scientific officer at Cannabis Europa, a European cannabis industry hub. Holland recently started a four-year experiment wherein the government will supply cannabis to coffee shops in a small number of municipalities. “But it’s a can-kicking exercise,” said Fisher. “We might find that something small like Luxembourg legalising might inspire them to cut short their plan.” Elsewhere, Switzerland has started a ten-year public health trial, tracking and studying a pool of 5,000 people legally using cannabis, while Belgium and Portugal have both successfully decriminalised and could be considered not-so-dark horses to fully legalise first. As for the European members of the G7—Germany, France, and the UK—things are moving, albeit slowly. Even so, bookmaker Ladbrokes predicts full UK cannabis legalisation is more likely than not—giving VICE odds of 6-4—by 2024. But bookmakers know more about horses than getting high. France seems likely to catch up with Germany and the UK and legalise medical cannabis by the end of the year. “Once one goes, there will likely be a rapid domino effect,” explained Rolles. And what about our friends in Scandinavia? “Drugs, particularly in Sweden, one of the longstanding global cheerleaders for punitive prohibition, is a topic the Scandinavians seem bizarrely blinkered and backward on,” Rolles said. “That said, there are signs of movement. Norway is exploring decriminalisation and has some innovative harm reduction policies, and there are emerging civil society movements for reform across Scandinavia, even in Sweden.” OUR PREDICTION: Luxembourg, Spain, Belgium, and Portugal to legalize in 2023; Italy in 2024; Holland and Germany in 2025; France in 2026; UK in 2027; Norway in 2029. The Caribbean In a report from 2018, the CARICOM Commission (which represents 15 member countries in the region) said the following on cannabis: “The commission believes that the end goal for CARICOM should be the dismantling of prohibition in its totality, to be replaced by a strictly regulated framework akin to that for alcohol and tobacco, which are harmful substances that are not criminalised.” It’s a fairly robust statement of intent which, taken at face value, could lead us to envisaging an imminent sweep of legalisation across the Caribbean. Not necessarily so, according to Blickman. “Most Caribbean countries will not take that step if the US does not move, dependent as they are on US aid and trade,” he argued. What seems likely, though, is that the area will broadly mirror Jamaica’s 2018 law changes: small amounts for possession (up to two ounces) or cultivation of five household plants are no longer considered offences, whilst medical use is authorised and Rastafarians are permitted to smoke for sacramental purposes. “A kind of toleration policy as we have seen for decades in the Netherlands is the most likely compromise in the short term,” said Blickman. After that? Legalisation across the region. OUR PREDICTION: Jamaica, Cuba, and Barbados to legalize in 2026. Africa It’s possible that Africa will be the continent to embrace widespread cannabis reform the fastest. Last year, the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that in private the use and cultivation of cannabis, known locally as dagga, should not be penalised. The bill has yet to be written formally into law and the specifics of the ruling are to be confirmed over the next 18 months, but it’s a crucial development for the region. “Some countries are positioning themselves to take advantage of the economic opportunity, instead of the patient access or civil rights issues,” McBride said. “It’s going to evolve quite differently to North America or Europe; if the fundamental driver is economic benefit, the quicker you can move towards the larger market and the quicker you're going to see the benefit. A lot of reforms are trying to focus on cashing out of developed countries and selling products into Europe.” McBride name-checked Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Zimbabwe as undergoing talks, while “Lesotho has already licensed some big companies to export cannabis.” The effect on local cannabis smoking is unclear—the region has high rates of cannabis use regardless of the law. “Many of those places, like Ghana, have only had prohibition in name,” McBride said, adding that he predicts a green rush “with widespread legalisation and regulation” over the next decade. OUR PREDICTION: South Africa to legalise in 2026; Sierra Leone, Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho in 2027. Asia For locals, hippies, and trust fund kids, a sunset spliff on a Goan beach is woven into the Indian cultural experience. But it seems unlikely that, in the short- to medium-term, there will be any kind of acceptance of this at a federal level in India. “Official attitudes are very anti-cannabis at the moment,” said Blickman. McBride suggests that “in certain parts of India, cannabis use is de facto legalised and there’s a lot of regional innovation—police forces openly not prosecuting and cannabis social clubs. But a country like India has so many pressing concerns that it’s hard to raise this to an issue of national debate.” Moving east, medical marijuana was legalised last December in Thailand, as the country gears up to join the exportation rush, with its tropical temperatures perfect for growing for countries that are trying to fulfil their own burgeoning marijuana needs. But that’s likely the extent for now. “Medical cannabis not withstanding, I think legalisation is still some way off in Thailand. I'd caveat that with the fact that things are intrinsically unpredictable in the country and region,” Rolles said. If you’re particularly keen to have a legal joint in Asia, legend might dictate to try North Korea, where reports have claimed it’s freely available and blooming on mountainsides as readily as grass and wheat. Sadly, this image of a smoker’s nirvana isn’t quite correct: “It’s industrial hemp," warned McBride. "And that’s never been illegal.” OUR PREDICTION: Thailand to legalise in 2029; India in 2030; North Korea never. Antarctica There is an Antarctic Treaty signed by 12 countries in 1959 to ensure that “Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only.” Apart from that, Antarctica has no government and no laws, so technically, as long as no one squabbles over their gear, you can toke away should you find yourself cruising the research stations of the icy province. However, scientists there are governed by the laws of their own land. So in principle, Canadians and Uruguayans can already toke on the South Pole, while Mexicans willing to deal with temperatures of -50°C should be able to roll up in front of the penguins before the end of the year. But then again, what happens in the South Pole stays in the South Pole. OUR PREDICTION: It's a scientist free for all. https://www.vice.com/en_in/article/gy4pa7/these-are-the-countries-most-likely-to-legalize-weed-next
  6. Hi The cannabis industry is poised for its biggest 420 yet The “Black Friday” for cannabis is expected to be bigger than ever this year. A lot has changed since last year’s 4/20 “holiday,” celebrating the plant first popularized for its psychoactive chemical THC. For one, the U.S. passed the 2018 Farm Bill removing industrial hemp from the list of Schedule I drugs. Canada fully legalized recreational adult cannabis use. To date, 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized adult use cannabis, while 33 states and D.C. have approved medical marijuana. According to Denver, Colorado-based software company Flowhub, cannabis companies should prepare for heavy sales, especially given that this year the holiday falls on a Saturday. “This will be the biggest 4/20 in history,” Flowhub wrote in an email to Yahoo Finance. Anne Fleshman, Flowhub’s VP of Marketing, said the industry has seen “amazing” year-over-year growth for the holiday. The origin of 420 The concept of 4/20 is widely accepted to have begun as an inside joke among a group of San Rafael, California, high school students in the 1970s, who chose 4:20 p.m. as a time to meet after school and look for what they believed to be mythical crop of hidden cannabis. “They never found the mythical plant,” Darren Karasiuk, Aurora Cannabis’s Chief Commercial Officer, told Yahoo Finance about the story. “From there it became a much broader way to celebrate cannabis’ history and legacy.” The codeword later made its way into mainstream vernacular after members of the band the Grateful Dead — who were acquaintances several steps removed from the students — and an editor at a cannabis culture publication began using the term. “420" is now widely accepted as a reference to cannabis consumption, and its calendar designation has become the de facto holiday for users across the globe. On 4/20, purchasing trends in states tracked by Flowhub’s database — including Alaska, California, Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon — have historically shown an increase of 51%-61% over typical weekday sales, Flowhub said. Dispensary visits on the holiday have shown to jump as much as 59%. And holiday sales year-over-year increased 30% in 2018. Socrates Rosenfeld, founder of Jane Technologies and iheartjane.com, an online marketplace for cannabis products, predicts 4/20 sales will center on CBD, edibles, pre-rolls (joints) and topicals. “CBD will be big this year, particularly when it comes to how much customers are willing to spend,” a company spokesperson said in an email to Yahoo Finance. “Our data shows people buying CBD spend 50% more than a shopper looking for THC.” Which products are popular? Rosenfeld said Americans are increasingly purchasing edibles, particularly to satisfy a sweet tooth, as well as topical lotions and balms. Over the last six months, Rosenfeld’s sales of sweet edibles such as candy and ice cream have grown 50%. Topical lotions and balms have jumped more than 150%. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/420-cannabis-industry-biggest-ever-150424307.html Bongme
  7. Hi The man who co-invented Viagra is now developing cannabis products so women can have better sex The marijuana-based vaginal gel is not a "medicine" but more like a "sexual enhancer" Men have a wide variety of resources to help them with sexual dysfunction. The sexual needs of women are largely overlooked. Dr. Harin Padma-Nathan, co-inventor of Niagra, is hoping to change this narrative by developing a cannabis-based gel that will help women have better sex. Dr. Padma-Nathan was the lead principal investigator for Viagra and Cialis, two prominent FDA-approved sexual dysfunction drugs. Now, he has teamed up with Manna Molecular, a cannabis biotech firm, to oversee development of cannabinoid-based sexual health products. The company is known to make cannabis transdermal patches—transdermal patches are medicated adhesive placed on the skin to deliver a specific dose. A 2018 study points out that the “treatment of male sexual dysfunction has developed considerably since the release of sildenafil (Viagra) as a treatment for erectile dysfunction in 1998. Unfortunately, despite robust clinical and academic interest in male sexual dysfunction, women with sexual complaints have been largely overlooked. There have been limited treatment options, few Canadian role models who specialize in female sexual medicine, and little academic activity in the area of female sexual function.” Interestingly, the idea for the product—Nial DeMena, CEO of Manna Molecular, admits—came through the company’s female colleagues. “DeMena became interested in exploring cannabis-based sexual health products for women when the company’s female customers reported that wearing their cannabis patches on their pelvis improved their sexual experiences. That feedback inspired DeMena to approach Padma-Nathan about the possibility of using cannabis to enhance sex for women. Padma-Nathan told him there’s pretty good evidence that it could,” Civilized reports. “The evidence is that in lower doses, cannabis enhances sexual function, and at extremely high doses, it may have a detrimental effect,” Dr. Padma-Nathan told Civilized. Cannabis can’t completely treat sexual dysfunction like Viagra does. So the company plans to market this cannabis-based vaginal gel as a sexual enhancement product as opposed to medicine. “This is not a treatment for a severe medical issue. We want to be conservative in what we promise,” Dr. Padma-Nathan told Civilized. Now here’s why Canadians should be excited: In Feb. 2019, Aphria signed a worldwide license agreement with Manna Molecular that allows the Canadian pot company to produce and sells patches containing cannabis oils for its established suite of medical and adult-use brands. Could pot be women, what viagra is for men? Once approved, is it headed towards the Canadian markets? Only time will tell. Want to keep up to date on what’s happening in the world of cannabis? Subscribe to the Cannabis Post newsletter for weekly insights into the industry, what insiders will be talking about and content from across the Postmedia Network. https://lfpress.com/cannabis-news/the-man-who-co-invented-viagra-is-now-developing-cannabis-products-so-women-can-have-better-sex/wcm/af0b7863-483c-442c-988a-ea6e9819f3d3 Bongme
  8. Hi Sex After 50: Can Cannabis Increase Sexual Satisfaction? Can cannabis bring you to another world, help you discover the truth about love, lift you to a higher place, while also increasing your libido? All signs, and the evidence point to: yes. The era of prohibition boasts stories of the ‘sexually charged adolescent’, who whilst trying cannabis, is no longer able to satiate an uncontrollable hunger for intercourse. While being highly exaggerated and rooted in prejudices of its time, there is a small grain of truth within this myth. Cannabis can be a useful tool to heighten sexual experiences and improve sexual functioning in post-menopausal women and men suffering from sexual dysfunction. Although men and women have vastly different reproductive systems, there is common ground: the endocannabinoid system. Our bodies produce naturally occurring cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids—“endo” standing for endonegous, meaning inside the body. The cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are known as cannabinoids—because they come from outside the body but interact with our endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids interact with endocannabinoid receptors. There are two main types of receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mainly found in the brain and are responsible for the ‘psychoactive’ effects of cannabis. CB2 receptors are located throughout our bodies, mainly in our immune system cells and peripheral tissues. The endocannabinoid system plays a key role in the regulation and maintenance of sexual functioning in both men and women, but cannabis, in particular, can go beyond physical components of intimacy. It has been reported that the use of cannabis can increase tactile sensation and sexual satisfaction while slowing our perception of time. The combination of these factors can help couples relax and revive intimate awareness. Less Is More These sexy side effects were shown to be dose-dependent, meaning that the amount of cannabis increased libido, tactile sensation or sexual satisfaction was directly correlated with how much cannabis was consumed. Small doses of cannabis allowed for heightened sexual experiences, while larger doses decreased this effect exponentially. The key point? At high doses cannabis becomes a sedative, no matter which way you swing it. So consume moderately. Cannabis is a plant with a few tricks up its sleeve. The two most famous cannabinoids are THC and CBD. THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects that provide the ‘high’ and mind-altering effects of cannabis. It binds to the CB1 receptor and stays mostly in the brain. CBD, on the other hand, is its sleuth-like counterpart. I mean counterpart in a literal sense. CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC and has a slew of properties of its own. It mainly binds to CB2 receptors. It is known for its anxiolytic properties, meaning it staves off anxiety, but it has demonstrated to be useful for our reproductive parts, too. Biological Differences Gentlemen, I have big news. You may have already heard CBD can decrease performance anxiety and improve blood flow, what you may not know, is what it can do down below. CBD has been discovered as a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. A recent study found high amounts of C1 and CB2 receptors in the corpus cavernosum, an area of the penis whose smooth muscle tone governs whether the whistle sounds. In order for an erection to take place, the corpus cavernosum must relax. It was found that anadamide, our bodies’ endogenous version of THC, helped to relax the smooth muscle in the corpus cavernosum. Cannabidiol when taken regularly, has been shown to increase our bodies’ natural baseline of anandamide. Ladies, our reproductive parts are less straightforward. We undergo a symphony of hormonal fluctuations that are highly variable, but whose missed beat can cause severely unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, painful sex, and even depression. The endocannabinoid system plays a key role in the regulation of the female reproductive cycle—giving cannabis the stage as a possible therapeutic agent for symptoms experienced during menopause and endometriosis. It has been found that in order for ovulation to take place, large amounts of anandamide are produced, while the beginning of menses is met with a sharp decline. Research also shows that women’s bodies have an unusually high concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the uterus and reproductive center. Symptoms experienced during menopause are associated with surges of luteinizing hormone, which anandamide has shown to modulate. Reduced amounts of CB1 receptors down below have been correlated to painful sex and pain associated with endometriosis. Cannabinoids such as CBD can help to increase the number of CB1 receptors and anandamide, thus spurring interest in the medical community to investigate its potential as a therapeutic modality. Does cannabis live up to its mythological reputation as an intense aphrodisiac from the depths of Lilith’s womb? Not quite, but the evidence shows that it has the potential to increase sexual satisfaction for both men and women. Whether it’s a deeper connection with your partner, heightened sensation or physical support you need, cannabis can be at your service. https://www.leafly.com/news/health/sex-after-50-cannabis Bongme
  9. hi Can using cannabis help lower my cholesterol? Studies have raised interesting points about marijuana’s potential role Millions of Americans live with high cholesterol, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease, developing peripheral artery disease, or having a stroke – all of which are potentially life-threatening. Research is being conducted to determine whether patients with high cholesterol could see health benefits from using marijuana. So far, scientists haven’t reached a conclusive verdict about whether cannabis can lower cholesterol, but while more research is needed, existing studies have raised some interesting points about marijuana’s potential role in the fight against high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Marijuana Can Lower, Raise Good Cholesterol (HDL) Cholesterol is an organic compound that naturally exists in all of your body’s cells. Cholesterol is critical to various bodily functions, such as synthesizing vitamin D, making hormones, and producing substances your body needs to digest food properly. But while some cholesterol is essential to life, too much can wreak havoc on your health. According to the CDC, about 73.5 million American adults – roughly a third of the population – have high cholesterol, which can double the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A 2013 study published in Diabetes Care examined the relationship between cannabis use, cholesterol levels, glucose (blood sugar), and insulin (a hormone that helps moderate glucose levels). It makes sense for researchers to study these variables together, because high cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, which occurs when the body produces no insulin or insufficient insulin. However, before digging into the study, it’s important to know that cholesterol can be described as “good” or “bad.” “Bad cholesterol” refers to LDL (low-density lipoprotein), while “good cholesterol” indicates HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which helps remove LDL deposits. LDL (bad) cholesterol can accumulate inside your blood vessels, causing your arteries to become harder and narrower. Eventually, an artery can become so clogged that it gets completely blocked. When this happens, blood can no longer reach the tissue or organs on the other side of the obstruction, leading to a stroke or heart attack (myocardial infarction). This can occur whether you have diabetes or not, but diabetes patients are at an elevated risk for a number of reasons, including that diabetes has a tendency to decrease HDL levels while simultaneously raising LDL levels. The more LDL builds up in your arteries, the more likely you are to develop a blockage. In the Diabetes Care study, researchers examined 30 “chronic cannabis smokers” whose median self-reported use was six joints per day over a period of nine and a half years. (Participants’ use ranged anywhere from three to 30 joints per day, over a period of two to 38 years.) Slightly more than half of the participants – 18 out of 30 – were male. According to the study, “Cannabis smokers had lower plasma HDL cholesterol,” but unchanged levels of LDL. That means heavy daily cannabis users had a decrease in good cholesterol, but no increase ordecrease in bad cholesterol. However, a study published the year before in BMJ Open found a different result: that “marijuana users had a higher prevalence of serum HDL cholesterol [and] total cholesterol” – in other words, an elevated level of good cholesterol. The difference in findings is due partially to the fact that each study evaluated different bodily substances. The Diabetes study, which said that cannabis lowered good cholesterol while having no effect on bad cholesterol, examined participants’ blood plasma: yellow fluid that doesn’t contain any cells. The BMJ study, which came to the opposite conclusion, looked at participants’ blood serum: the part of your blood that remains after clotting occurs. Additionally, the cannabis use described in the Diabetes study was far heavier than the use described the BMJ study, which classified “heavy” use as more than five uses per month (as opposed to six joints per day). Another study, published in 2007 in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, also examined marijuana’s effects on LDL and HDL. The Neuroscience study, while critical of cannabis as a potential (though rare) trigger for schizophrenia or psychosis, also noted an increase in good cholesterol in patients who used a drug called Rimonabant. Rimonabant actually blocks some of the effects of THC, but, like cannabis, acts on the brain’s CB1 receptors. Intended as an anti-obesity drug, Rimonabant was never approved for use in the United States because subjects reported feelings of depression and suicidal ideation. However, the fact that Rimonabant is a CB1 antagonist, like Cannabidiol (CBD), further suggests that medical marijuana could potentially have applications in helping to improve your cholesterol. Using Cannabis to Manage Your Weight Again, more research is needed with regard to the relationship between marijuana and cholesterol. While some studies have suggested that cannabis can raise your good cholesterol levels, others, like the one published in Diabetes Care, indicate the opposite effect. On the other hand, studies have shown that marijuana can help treat diabetes and reduce abdominal fat, so we know that cannabis can aid weight loss and enhance cardiovascular health – both keys to bringing bad cholesterol down. Of course, at the end of the day, the best and simplest way to control your weight and keep your heart healthy will always be proper diet and exercise. Fortunately, it’s quite possible to diet while using marijuana, as long as you follow some basic tips to control the munchies. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, or are suffering from severe chronic joint pain or other complications due to your weight, medical cannabis may be able to help provide additional relief in conjunction with exercise, a healthy diet, and treatment with prescription medications. To talk about whether medical marijuana could be right for your cardiovascular condition, call Inhale MD at (617) 477-8886 today. https://lfpress.com/cannabis-health/cannabis-medical/can-using-cannabis-help-lower-my-cholesterol/wcm/cf5a1eba-a8b1-4e70-9f0d-215b53dede87 Bongme
  10. hi Check out our exclusive list of the top lawyers working on the biggest deals in the booming marijuana industry that's set to skyrocket to $194 billion globally With the rapid spread of marijuana legalization in the US, lawyers are discovering that the tangled web of regulations guiding the rapidly growing industry is a boon for business. After last year's midterm elections, some form of cannabis is now legal in 33 states, and many in the industry say it's only a matter of time before legalization sweeps the nation. Big money — and big law — has followed. The opportunity could be huge: some Wall Street analysts say marijuana could become an $80 billion market in the US alone in the next decade, with the global market hitting close to $200 billion. There are several key reasons lawyers are attracted to the marijuana industry. For one, as cannabis companies grow, merge, and start getting the attention of Fortune 500 corporations as acquisition targets, they need more sophisticated advice on financing, tax planning, corporate structure, and M&A. Publicly traded cannabis companies were on a dealmaking tear in 2019, scooping up competitors and signing multibillion-dollar tie-ups with pharmaceutical, alcohol, and tobacco corporations. It's a trend heating up this year. In addition, many marijuana companies still directly flout US federal law, despite being publicly traded and posting multibillion valuations. That's an opportunity to a select group of lawyers who have cut a trailblazing path into the industry. Once reluctant, some of the biggest law firms, like Duane Morris, Baker Botts and Dentons, are building out specialized cannabis practice groups as the industry continues to grow in profitability and complexity. And even some of the most world's most prestigious law firms, like Sullivan and Cromwell, have gotten in on the marijuana mergers-and-acquisitions action. Business Insider has pulled together a list of the top lawyers who've worked on the largest deals in the past year in the growing marijuana industry. https://www.businessinsider.com/exclusive-list-of-the-marijuana-industrys-top-lawyers-2019-1?r=UK&IR=T Bongme
  11. Hi What's coming up in soft drinks in 2019? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - Comment Over the coming weeks, just-drinks' category commentators will share with us their thoughts on how 2019 will shape their respective sectors. First up, Richard Corbett looks at the soft drinks and bottled water categories. As in previous years, soft drinks and bottled water can expect to face more than their fair share of challenges this year. While 2019 is unlikely to be a vintage year, globally, I would expect soft drinks consumption to rise by between 2% and 3% in volume terms on 2018. Soft drinks start to lose their bottle Soft drinks packaging will again be a flammable issue for the industry worldwide in 2019. In the UK, the term 'single-serve' became the Collins Dictionary word of the Year in 2018, highlighting just how quickly the debate on packaging has escalated in the public eye. This concern has been replicated in markets around the world. If you listen to some commentators, drinking out of a single-serve plastic bottle could one day be akin to turning up to the annual Vegan Society dinner dance in a fur coat. PepsiCo's deal to buy SodaStream, which closed in late last year, signalled the group's intention to take a lead on the issue of single-serve packaging. We can expect PepsiCo to be active in new product development with some potentially groundbreaking SodaStream developments later in the year. The Coca-Cola Co had been one step ahead of PepsiCo, but landed on a snake with Keurig Kold. I can foresee a major new announcement this year indicating a new direction for Coca-Cola's at-home dispense strategy. The industry may well look back on 2019 as the turning point for the way that consumers access their refreshment at home. Water in a carton? Bottled water already competes with existing 'home dispense systems' (the tap) so will need to seek other solutions to re-establish its green credentials. Ambitious longer-term plans to "take the single out of single-use" - in the words of Nestle - are admirable, but are not a short-term remedy. Conventional wisdom suggests that consumers like to drink their water from transparent containers, so they can be comfortable that there are no adulterations. In the Netherlands, however, the carton remains a popular format for still water sales, due to the deposit on bottles. The carton could be well-placed to take the sting out of the issue of plastic bottle use in still waters. If the carton companies get the message out, there will be plenty of listeners. The issue of plastic bottle use might also be expected to prompt a shift from plastic to carton in the premium juice segments where bottles are the packaging of choice for many suppliers. This could be aided by regulation: In Denmark, for instance, the Government announced plans last year to include plastic juice bottles in the deposit scheme with other soft drinks. Legal high for cannabis drinks? All eyes will be on Canada this year, as the drinks industry looks to monitor the progress of cannabis-infused drinks. Not surprisingly, the big alcohol players will be carefully assessing the consumer response to any new products that arrive on the market. So too will soft drinks operators. Coca-Cola has obviously caught a whiff of the opportunities for drinks infused with cannabis extract cannabidiol (CBD) but the group's PR team is understandably treading carefully. The official line is that Coca-Cola "doesn't have plans at this stage" to get involved. Anheuser-Busch InBev appears more convinced, closing 2018 with the creation of a big-money partnership with Canadian cannabis producer Tilray to research cannabis-infused non-alcoholic drinks. Reports of CBD's ability to provide pain relief and restrict inflammation could trigger the emergence of a huge new segment of the soft drinks market. Indeed, functional drinks that have a palpable health impact have proved to be highly lucrative. Just look at the effect on the market that Red Bull has had since its arrival around 30 years ago, or the explosion in probiotic drinks in the last decade or more. The marketing of any such product will not be a conventional one for a soft drink and nor will the route to market. I would expect products to start life in pharmaceutical chains to give them a sense of authenticity. Could there be a craft-style, backyard wellbeing cannabis-infused brand that emerges to steal the show? If drinks infused with CBD do prove to have a positive effect on pain relief, then any stigma associated with the links to cannabis will melt away - so will the regulations limiting its use in markets across the world. Coffee shops soften The rise of the coffee shop has been a key feature of the retail marketplace for some time now, but last summer's purchase by Coca-Cola of Costa highlighted how this fast-developing channel is very much on the radar for soft drinks players. I don't believe this is all about coffee. Consumers often buy their lunch in them, they meet in them and, as the rapid rise in northern Europe of the Joe & The Juice chain has shown, they don't just want to buy hot drinks in them. The coffee shop is becoming an important vehicle for soft drinks sales and that's why companies want a piece of the action as their outlet numbers swell across the world. Coffee shops also hold interest for soft drinks players because the range of soft drinks on offer is generally less conventional and more cosmopolitan than the mainstream. These outlets represent a chance to trial and test new, higher-end concepts on an audience that is more than willing to experiment with them - the coffee shop is often where the Millennial is found. UK headache for Fever-Tree Among investors, Fever Tree has gained celebrity status since its IPO launch back in 2014. The share price has ballooned from its opening GBP1.34, peaking at more than GBP40 back in September. Since then, however, the markets have soured and Fever-Tree has seen its price spiral downwards. 2019 will be an influential year for the company. I expect growth levels to be downgraded from stunning to good in the UK market this year. Even Usain Bolt slows after 200m and conditions in the summer of 2018 were very favourable to sales in the UK - a cooler summer this year would dampen demand. As a result, Fever-Tree will struggle to maintain its previous spectacular growth levels in what remains its core market. The focus, then, will switch to the US, where the company has moved many of its chips in recent times. This year, we'll be able to gauge more accurately the level of potential the brand really has. The US has more of a dark spirits culture, which could hamper development. Fever-Tree is fantastically well-marketed and has succeeded in relegating rival Schweppes into a B brand. For that reason, long-term success is a given. This year, however, we'll have more of an understanding of just how successful the brand will be. Ironically, a more modest year could prompt a more realistic market capitalisation, and even trigger an acquisition. https://www.just-drinks.com/comment/whats-coming-up-in-soft-drinks-in-2019-predictions-for-the-year-ahead-comment_id127505.aspx Bongme
  12. Hi Why Growing Your Own Cannabis Is the Best Resolution for 2019 Who grows the greatest cannabis on earth? You do, or at least you can, and it’s not as hard as you might think. But if 2019 is going to be the year you pop your first seeds or root your first cuttings, now’s the time to start planning and preparing for a spring planting. You can get started by reading Leafly’s two primers—one for those growing indoors and one for those growing outdoors. If, like most of us, you’re a hobbyist hoping to simply cover your yearly head stash, with plenty leftover to gift to friends, I’d definitely recommend starting outdoors, assuming you’ve got a suitable space to do so. Because depending on the climate where you live (including the legal climate), it’s pretty likely you can cultivate a few plants right next to your heirloom tomatoes or summer squash. Setting up indoors means figuring out everything from high-intensity lights to advanced hydroponics. Remember, we only started growing cannabis in basements and attics to avoid the cops. So let’s leave all that high-tech equipment to the professionals (and those still living under oppressive laws), and nurture your first-ever cannabis garden in your backyard—or side yard, or up on the roof, or wherever you’ve got a little space to work. Immediately, that takes an awful lot of the effort and expense out of the equation. And more importantly, small-batch sun-grown cannabis—cultivated in soil with organic nutrients—truly is the plant’s highest expression. But before we fully dig into how you will grow the greatest cannabis on earth in 2019, we need to start by asking why bother? I mean, if you haven’t heard, you can buy this stuff at a store now. But there’s still five good reasons you should take the means of cannabis production into your own hands this year. Value The most obvious reason to grow your own cannabis is that you can produce high-quality herb at a small fraction of what you’d pay at a dispensary, particularly once you factor in all of the taxes. For a rough estimate of return-on-investment, I asked my good friend and cannabis colleague Danny Danko, longtime cultivation editor at High Times magazine and author of the book Cannabis: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Marijuana, for a run-down on the expected annual harvest for a six plant backyard garden, grown in soil with some basic organic fertilizer and plenty of sunshine. “Six small outdoor plants should yield 8-10 ounces of dried buds, so you’re looking at approximately 3 pounds total at the end of the season, and if you grow large outdoor plants, they could yield a pound or more each,” he says. Quality Okay, it may be a bit of hyperbole to say you will grow the best cannabis on earth, particularly your first year trying, but here’s a little secret: they call it weed for a reason. Cannabis is an incredibly hardy plant, and one that’s adaptable to a wide range of environments, so minus some kind of catastrophic event (spider mites, mold, thieving neighbors), you’ll almost certainly succeed in harvesting some truly lovely buds. How much and how lovely depends on your skill, your starting materials, and your diligence, but with just a few inexpensive inputs and some careful tending, you’ll most definitely be proud of what you produce. Because unlike large, bustling commercial operations, growing just a handful of plants per year allows you to give them the kind of individual tender-loving-care that will help them flourish from start to finish. And you can harvest at the absolute peak of potency and then treat your buds like the delicate, resin-coated flowers they are throughout the vital drying and curing process. You’d be surprised how much this improves the quality and potency of the finished product. Also, like a meal that you prepare yourself or children you raise from birth, some measure of the beauty of your buds will be in the eye of the beholder. Embrace that. Your dispensary (or dealer) may have the hottest new strains and the stankiest top-shelf brands on the market, but nobody else on earth can roll up a joint of your Backyard Kush or Basement Haze. Variety One of the biggest decisions you’ll get to make as a cannabis cultivator will be deciding which strain(s) to grow. Some people like to plant a uniform garden, so all the plants will mature at roughly the same rate and have roughly the same needs, while others want to try out as many different varietals as possible and see what works best. There’s no wrong answers, really, just keep in mind that your favorite strain to smoke may not be the best one to grow in your particular circumstances. Some cannabis strains grow short and stout and mature quickly (indicas), and some grow tall and wispy and take a long time to reach their peak (sativas). Certain strains have been bred to flourish outdoors and others are optimized for indoor growing. Some are highly resistant to wet weather and others mold easily. The quality of seeds and cuttings on the market also varies widely, so source only from reputable suppliers who stand behind their products and offer informed recommendations based on your detailed input. And then double check everything via Leafy’s comprehensive strain database. Connection If you truly love cannabis, what could be better than starting your day by watering a small collection of luscious herb plants while marveling at how quickly they grow? Gardening time is almost always quality time. And over time, you’ll become increasingly attuned to the life force of your plants and the heady milieu that envelopes your garden. Particularly as your cannabis becomes ever more fragrant towards the end of the season. Last year, six plants in 50-gallon containers sat right outside the door to my home office, and from mid-July until the day I cut them down, I didn’t walk past those plants once without taking in their fragrance. And let me tell you, that’s a unique and highly effective form of aromatherapy in a world gone mad. Decentralization Legalization is a many splendored thing. And obviously no adult, anywhere, should face criminal charges for growing, possessing, smoking, sharing, or selling this most wonderful plant. But legalization has also led to two troubling forms of consolidation. The first is a severe winnowing of genetic diversity in the cannabis gene pool caused by industrial agriculture sized cultivation facilities that focus on only a handful of strains that grow quickly and easily and have the most commercial appeal. The second form of consolidation happens when these hyper-capitalized companies begin to gobble up market share by either buying up their competition or pushing them to the margins through economy of scale. Both forms of consolidation represent existential threats to the cannabis plant and the cannabis movement as we’ve come to understand them. Rest assured, left to its own devices, “Big Marijuana” will do an excellent job of producing “mids”-quality Blue Dream in massive amounts at a low price point, but will do little to nothing to protect and preserve the incredible genetic diversity of strains that’s been created and curated by crafty cannabis breeders over the last half century. And meanwhile they’ll do everything they can to eliminate unwanted competition from the kind of small-scale Mom and Pop growers who’ve kept the plant alive and flourishing during the long dark days of prohibition. One way to push back on both forms of consolidation is to seek out cannabis from small scale traditional growers, particularly those specializing in rare and heirloom strains. But the best and most satisfying way is to become a small scale traditional grower who specializes in rare and heirloom strains—even if it’s just six plants per year. Take it from a guy who’s writing this article while casually puffing on some of his very own “proprietor’s reserve” buds from the 2018 harvest. https://www.leafly.com/news/growing/why-grow-your-own-cannabis-in-2019 Bongme
  13. Hi Maker of Budweiser is partnering with medical cannabis company Tilray in a $100m deal to research cannabis-infused drinks for Canadian market Daily Mail The maker of Budweiser is partnering with medical cannabis company Tilray in a $100 million deal to research cannabis-infused drinks for the Canadian market. The alliance announced on Wednesday is the latest foray by a major beer company into the cannabis business in Canada, which legalized recreational marijuana in October. Anheuser-Busch InBev and Tilray Inc. said each would invest $50 million in the project to study non-alcoholic drinks containing cannabidiol, or CBD, which some claim has calming and healing effects, and Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the cannabis compound known for its psychoactive effects. Tilray had announced a day earlier that a subsidiary struck a deal with pharmaceutical company Sandoz AG to jointly operate in jurisdictions where cannabis is, or will be, approved for medical purposes. Tilray's shares jumped 15 per cent following news of the deal with AB InBev. Shares of AB InBev were little changed. Belgium-based AB InBev, the owner of more than 500 beer brands including Budweiser and Stella Artois, said it will participate in the project through its subsidiary Labatt Breweries of Canada. 'Labatt is committed to staying ahead of emerging consumer trends,' President Kyle Norrington said. British Columbia-based Tilray has products available in 12 countries and operations in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Latin America and Portugal. Canada has emerged as a world leader in the cannabis industry, which is surging as legalization also expands in the United States. North American consumer spending on legal cannabis is expected to grow from $9.2 billion in 2017 to $47.3 billion in 2027, according to Arcview Market Research, a cannabis-focused investment firm. Earlier this month, Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. invested $1.8 billion for a 45 percent stake in Cronos Group, a Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider. In August, wine, liquor and beer company Constellation Brands announced a $4 billion investment in Canadian pot producer Canopy Growth Corp. Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Guinness brewer Diageo have said they are closely watching the market for cannabis as it evolves. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6514039/Budweiser-maker-teams-Tilray-explore-pot-drinks.html 15 Comments at this time Top Hitter cootie, nyny, United States, I'd rather have a beer in one hand and a joint in the other. I like the psycho part. Bongme
  14. Hi Vid On Link Marijuana and CBD companies can't advertise on Facebook and Google, so they're getting creative David Bozin used to get cuts and scratches on his arms when it came time to bathe his golden retriever, Jax, who rebelled against the prospect of being dunked in water. Then he learned that dogs, like humans, respond to the properties of cannabidiol, also known as CBD, a cannabis compound that helps the body relax without producing intoxicating effects. Bozin got to work on a line of CBD-infused dog products, including a dry shampoo and puppy treats, that he calls ZenPup. But in trying to find customers for his new company, Bozin faces a unique challenge in today's market. He doesn't have access to Google , Facebook or Instagram (owned by Facebook), which have banned CBD and marijuana promotions. The two dominant online advertising platforms account for 57 percent of the U.S. digital ad market, according to eMarketer, and almost all emerging brands today count on Google's search ads and Facebook's precision targeting to efficiently get the word out. "Facebook is not the end all, be all. Instagram is not the end all, be all," Bozin told CNBC. "Does that mean you're not going to see as much traffic at the get go? Sure. But at the end of the day the most important point is conversion," or getting people to buy your products, he said. Marijuana is legal for recreational use in 10 states and Washington, D.C., and available for medical purposes in many others parts of the country. CBD is a bit more complicated because the laws are murky. Currently, 47 states allow some form of CBD sales. The 2018 Farm Bill, which Congress passed this week, allows states to decide if CBD products made from hemp can be sold in their jurisdiction. However, it doesn't protect the products from the Food and Drug Administration, which can penalize companies for making inaccurate health claims. "We avoid talking about anything too specific about what the product will do," said Cary Smith, senior vice president at agency North 6th Agency. "If you come from an educational standpoint, you skew towards less restrictions, and have a bit of a larger organic reach." With so much uncertainty in the market, Google and Facebook have shied away from allowing marijuana and CBD advertising, taking a similar approach to how they handle tobacco and related paraphernalia. When it comes to alcohol, Google prohibits companies from targeting underage users or promoting unsafe behavior, while alcohol advertising on Facebook has to adhere to local laws. In the absence of Google and Facebook, ZenPup has been forced to find alternative ways to launch its products. The co-founders, who worked in marketing and public relations, are spending time building relationships with media companies, high-end dispensaries and pet accessory retailers, along with other brands that might be open to partnering with a CBD provider. They're finding popular social media influencers, who can support the products organically on their accounts. ZenPup has also focused on clean, attractive packaging so that it's appealing for "shelfies," or staged product photos that people post on their feeds. "Those younger consumers are looking for something different from an aesthetic standpoint, that also is top quality and at a good price point," said Nicholas Weatherhead, ZenPup's chief marketing officer and co-founder. Connecting with your customers Other approaches are available to CBD companies, depending on the specific industry. Hillary Wirth, media director at the agency Noble People, said there are plenty of ways to get your brand in the right place. To promote Viceland's digital show "Weed Week," in April Noble People bought local and national TV ads with DirecTV and Comcast , as well as on channels like IFC , USA and BBC America, and focused on pornography site Pornhub. There are also digital ad networks like like Traffic Roots that allow marijuana and CBD ads. "So you can't advertise on Facebook or Google – it's not the end of the world," said Wirth. "There are plenty of other media channels that will get you contextually next to relevant weed content." Noble People got creative in other ways. The firm organized a Washington, D.C., Viceland event to allow people to "Smoke Weed with Jeff Sessions." But it wasn't the former attorney general — just a man from Wisconsin with the same name. https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/marijuana-cbd-companies-apos-t-191100796.html Bongme
  15. hi Pepsi shoots down rumors that it is considering cannabis following a report that Coca-Cola is eyeing CBD-infused beverages PepsiCo has no plans to enter into the cannabis business, the company said in a call with investors on Tuesday. Insiders have been buzzing about Pepsi's potential interest in CBD-infused beverages or snacks, following a report that Coca-Cola is eyeing a deal with marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis. CBD is already a $1 billion business, and analysts say that CBD-infused beverages could become a huge new category, similar to energy drinks. Insiders have been buzzing about PepsiCo considering a move into the cannabis business, following a report that Coca-Cola is eyeing a deal with marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis. However, on Tuesday, the snack-and-beverage giant shot down the rumors during a call with investors. Hugh Johnson, PepsiCo's CFO, said in response to a question on cannabis-infused products that the company looks at everything, but has no plans at this point to enter into the market, due in part to regulatory issues. In late September, analysts said that they saw Coca-Cola's reported interest in CBD as not too surprising, as CBD-infused drinks could be a boon for the beverage giant. CBD is already a booming, $1 billion business, and it is being used as an ingredient in salves, oils, balms, and beverages, despite continuing legal questions. Beverage giants investing in CBD-infused drinks could result in the creation of a new mainstream category of beverage. A deal between Coca-Cola and Aurora Cannabis could "broaden the reach of cannabis-­infused beverages into functional wellness categories, enabling KO to potentially one day 'own' the non­recreational cannabis-­infused beverage category," Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog wrote in a note to investors. With the potential of a new category looming, news of PepsiCo's interest in the industry seemed likely to follow. Vivien Azer, an analyst at Cowen, said in a note to clients in late September that she "would not be surprised" to hear of a deal between PepsiCo and a cannabis company, proposing that a CBD brand could serve as a "good complement" to PepsiCo's Gatorade franchise. However, it seems PepsiCo isn't ready to officially signal interest in CBD or cannabis — at least, not yet. Cannabis stocks have been booming, to a degree that has raised concerns among certain investors. Regulation remains murky, and CBD's actual impact is still unknown. "The question is: Is it going to be something akin to energy drinks — a new category that is trendy at first, that actually grows into a meaningful long-term business? Or is it going to be sort of a fad?" Duane Stanford, the executive editor of industry publication Beverage Digest, told Business Insider. http://uk.businessinsider.com/pepsi-shoots-down-cannabis-deal-rumors-2018-10 Bongme
  16. Hi Kids pick up marijuana at younger age if their mothers use the drug, Harvard study finds Daily Mail When mom uses marijuana, kids are more likely to try the drug at a younger age, a new study shows. When mothers used cannabis during the first 12 years of a child's life, there was a 40 percent higher likelihood the kid would start using the drug earlier than peers whose moms weren't using, researchers reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. On average, children whose mothers used marijuana tried it themselves an average of two years earlier than peers whose mothers didn't use the drug. That puts those kids at risk for a host of marijuana-linked problems, said lead study author Natasha Sokol, who was a doctoral student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health when the research was done. Kids with mothers who used marijuana were at increased risk of starting to use the drug themselves before age 17. Their peers were more likely to start at 18. The time between 16 and 18 'is a critical period of development,' said Sokol, who is now at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at the Brown University School of Public Health. 'Marijuana might be disrupting certain aspects of brain development, including the development of the endocannabinoid system. It's been associated with depression and, in predisposed individuals, there seems to be an increased risk of the development of psychosis.' Marijuana use at this age can also affect a child's ability learn, Sokol said. 'Missing school or functioning at a lower level in school is a big deal,' she said. 'Especially if it's for an extended period of time.' Sokol and colleagues analyzed data from participants in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and their biological children who signed on for the NLSY Child and Young Adults survey. The NLSY is a nationally representative survey that included 12,686 individuals living in the U.S. in 1979 between the ages of 14 and 21. NLSY participants were interviewed annually up until 1994 and then biennially after that. Out of 4,440 mother-child pairs identified by the researchers, 2,983 children, or 67 percent, and 1,053 moms, or 35 percent, said they used marijuana. One limitation of the study, Sokol said, is the researchers didn't have information on whether the kids knew their moms were using cannabis. While that is a limitation of the study, 'we also know that children are much more aware than we think they are,' said Dr. Michael Lynch, a toxicologist and emergency medicine physician and medical director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 'That's been proven again and again.' Lynch said he wasn't surprised to see children imitating behaviors modeled by their parents. But, 'it's nice to have a peer-reviewed work that identifies the risk that children are more likely to start using marijuana if they grow up in homes with a mother who uses the drug,' he added. The findings are 'concerning' Lynch said. 'That's because it's in the context of expanding use and a more permissive culture around marijuana use,' he added. 'All - even proponents - agree that younger initiation is unhealthy. That's been fairly well studied, from an academic and career standpoint and from a cognitive development standpoint.' Moreover, Lynch said, people who start marijuana at a younger age are at greater risk of addiction to either marijuana or prescription opioids. 'The finding is important but not surprising,' said Dr. Salomeh Keyhani, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. 'Studies of maternal tobacco smoking and adolescent initiation have had similar findings.' 'The results are particularly concerning given the unresolved debate on the association of adolescent use of cannabis and decreases in IQ,' Keyhani said. 'The results are also concerning because there is no coordinated public health campaign that is informing the public of the potential risks of cannabis use.' Sokol hopes her new findings won't be misused. 'I don't think this study needs to be evidence against legalization,' she said. 'That's not a successful public health policy.' https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6203545/Kids-pick-marijuana-younger-age-mothers-use-drug-study-finds.html 57 comments Top Hitter mama_mia, St. James, Barbados If marijuana was the only drug I had to worry about with my two teenagers, I would be happy. Bongme
  17. Hi Tea Break news Does Coca-Cola think it's high time for cannabis coke? Company 'close' to joint venture to sell drinks infused with marijuana Daily Mail Coca-Cola is said to be close to a deal that could see it infuse cans of soft drink with cannabis. The US giant is said to be in 'serious' discussions with a cannabis producer as it looks to grab a slice of the burgeoning marijuana market. A deal with the firm, Aurora Cannabis, could lead to Coca-Cola selling drinks infused with marijuana, which is said to have health benefits such as easing inflammation, pain and cramping. The conglomerate is likely to use cannabidiol, known as CBD, to develop the drinks. CBD is the non-psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis that is said to help ease pain but without the buzz or high some users seek. According to US-based Bloomberg news, sources close to negotiations said Coca-Cola and Aurora are 'pretty advanced down the path' of doing a deal. 'It's going to be more of a recovery drink,' the source added. If Coca-Cola seals a contract with Aurora it would be the first major soft drinks firm to make a move into the marijuana market. Canada is set to legalise the recreational use of cannabis next month as more states across the US make it legal. CBD oil is already on the shelves in the UK and is increasingly popular among those seeking an alternative to aid sleep and alleviate mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. However, it can only be sold as a food supplement. In 2016, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said items containing CBD would have to be licensed if they were advertised for medical purposes. A spokesman for Coca-Cola refused to comment on speculation but added: 'Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. 'The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.' A spokesman for Aurora, which is based in Canada, said: 'Aurora has expressed specific interest in the infused beverage space, and we intend to enter that market.' There are growing calls for a separate type of oil derived from cannabis that contains THC, the psychoactive ingredient of the plant, to be more widely available. Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced in June that doctors in the UK would be able to legally prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products under strict conditions. It followed the cases of Alfie Dingley, six, of Kenilworth, Warwickshire, and Billy Caldwell, 12, from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, who were given temporary licences for the oil to treat their severe epileptic seizures. The boys were originally denied the oil after it was confiscated at border control. Mr Javid stressed it was not a move towards the legalisation of cannabis, which is currently a controlled drug. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6176903/Coca-Cola-talks-produce-marijuana-infused-drinks.html 518 Comments Top Hitter JeremyOsborne, Richmond Upon Thames London , United Kingdom We love you Coca-Cola Bongme
  18. hi Vaping Weed Safer than Smoking Cigs Vaping cannabis seems to have even fewer health risks than smoking it As rational, health-conscious men, we should avoid behaviors that likely will cause harm even under the best of circumstances. Certain sports and physical activities may cause harm, but with proper training and equipment, these risks can be minimized if not completely eliminated. Smoking, on the other hand, is detrimental to our health. At least, smoking tobacco is. What about smoking other things, or vaping instead? Even tobacco company Reynolds American Inc. admits that These diseases and others can show up after years without smoking. My father died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, though he stopped smoking decades before. For smokers worried about their health, Reynolds adds, “The best course of action … is to quit.” Anything that can decrease or eliminate smoking sounds like a positive development. Vaping may be just the ticket. Though cannabis—marijuana if you prefer—can be smoked like tobacco (or mixed with tobacco), that’s not the only way to experience it. Vaporizers—such as a vape pen—heat but don’t burn the weed, producing an aerosol (vapor) with fewer carcinogens and lung irritants. They, however, are too new to conclude that they are entirely risk-free. Not that all noncombustible products are created equal. There are important differences between devices, the materials from which they are made and the forms of products put into them. A so-called e-liquid containing nicotine is most common. A Johns Hopkins study detected the presence of potentially dangerous elements, including lead and arsenic, in e-cigarette liquids, with much higher quantities in vaping pens with fresh metal heating coils. Some have ceramic heating coils, others quartz, both of which seem to release less or no lead and arsenic. Cancer and other diseases aren’t the only problems with nicotine. It also is addictive. Cancer Research UK states that “Nicotine causes addiction in much the same way as heroin or cocaine and it is just as addictive as these ‘harder’ drugs.” Marijuana, according to the best science, has less risk of addiction, maybe mostly psychologically. E-cigarettes and vaping pens can function as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), reducing the risk of smoking-related diseases, just as methadone or buprenorphine (Suboxone) can function as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in heroin rehab programs. Whether smoking or vaping marijuana has the same or similar health risks isn’t asked very often, even by marijuana opponents. (They tend to focus on whether or not cannabis is addictive, and if so, how much.) Maybe that’s because they know they won’t like the answer. Though cannabis research is limited—in size and number, by the inability to get legal, government-grown marijuana for study—most studies conclude there is little or no risk of cancer associated with smoking marijuana, particularly when compared with tobacco. Although marijuana smoke does have many of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke, it seems cannabis also has some cancer-retarding properties that may reduce or eliminate the risks. That doesn’t mean there may not be other, significant lung health risks short of cancer. Vaping cannabis seems to have even fewer health risks than smoking it, though again there is not enough evidence to say there is no risk. Since there’s a chance that it may cause harm, it would be more responsible, more grown up, to not smoke or vape anything. That’s the problem. Smoking is adolescent. Almost no one starts smoking as an adult. Nicotine is so incredibly addictive, however, that once you start it is very difficult to quit. To paraphrase the Jesuits and Muriel Spark, “Give me a child at an impressionable age and they are mine for life.” Likewise, marijuana may do long-term damage to the developing teen-aged brain that it doesn’t to the adult brain. The way it looks right now, vaping tobacco is less harmful than smoking it since the combustion releases more carcinogens and the smoke irritates the lungs more than the vapor. Marijuana seems (to all but the most rabid anti-grass zealots) to be less harmful than vaping tobacco, and vaping marijuana is safer still. Another argument in favor of cannabis: Although tobacco has no currently accepted or rationally argued health benefits, the same is not true of marijuana. Many US politicians and some physicians say that marijuana has no proven benefits either, but that, again, maybe because it is too difficult to get permission to test it. Meanwhile, there are many people who testify to the health benefits of cannabis for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain management and even withdrawal from deadly opioid drugs. Say what you like about marijuana, there is not a single documented case of anyone dying from an overdose of marijuana, despite many legalization and decriminalization opponents looking for one. It seems to be physically impossible. Although marijuana is illegal at the federal level, 60 percent of the US population thinks it should be legal, recreational as well as medical, and about the same percentage of states have passed ballot measures or laws making it so under their laws. The US tried Prohibition for alcohol, which was and is a health hazard, but it didn’t work. Many people decided they’d rather break the law than stop drinking. All that was accomplished was the creation of a vast criminal apparatus to feed that desire. The crackdown on marijuana, heroin, and opioid prescription painkillers has had a similar effect, leading to drug cartels, crime, overdose deaths, and violence. Not so curiously, in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized, the amount of crime, violence and overdose deaths has decreased. The same is true of areas where safe injection sites have been established, where addicts can test their drugs to make sure they’re getting what they paid for (some prescription painkillers are counterfeits, using cheaper, easier to find, but much stronger opioids such as fentanyl), clean needles and medical assistance if needed. Vaping marijuana is not a monolith either, and while there is little research about the safety or dangers of vaping, some methods may be safer than others. First, there’s the hardware, from a hand-held bong or water pipe to a vape pen. They come in different materials, too, which may or may not affect the release of carcinogens. The most common form of cannabis for vaping pens is a concentrate known as butane hash oil (BHO), typically made by pouring lighter fluid through poor-quality pot and filtering it. Other vaporizers use loose pot, whole bud or ground, with heated water. There’s even a Keurig-style cannabis device using pre-filled pods that may come to market soon. If vaping appears to be the safest way of using tobacco and marijuana, in the interests of harm reduction we should encourage users to switch. Some people may continue using longer than they otherwise would have, but fewer people will die. That seems a fair trade-off. https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/vaping-weed-safer-than-smoking-cigs-ndgt/ Bongme
  19. Hi Summer Got You Feeling Stressed? Cannabis May Help A study from 2009 indicated that Cannabis was used for relaxation, stress relief and anxiety reduction, while statistics for women users were around 10% higher Relaxation is the most widely cited reason why people consume cannabis. (According to 55 percent of respondents polled in a 2009 study) Cannabis has been considered a stress reliever for nearly half a millennia and modern science has verified that this treatment works. Not only has research confirmed the efficacy of the medical marijuana, more and more Americans are treating stress-related conditions with the herb. Marijuna for Relaxation According to a study published in 2009 in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, findings suggest that cannabis is commonly used as a stress-coping strategy. Additionally, New Frontier Data, a cannabis data analysis firm, conducted a study last year and revealed: Relaxation (55 percent) is the most widely cited reason why people consume cannabis. The next three most common reasons cited are to relieve stress (40 percent), to enhance the enjoyment of a social experience (40 percent) and to reduce anxiety (39 percent). Women are significantly more likely than men to consume cannabis to relieve stress (+7%) and to reduce anxiety (+13) Relaxation and stress relief are overwhelmingly the most commonly perceived benefits of cannabis use, according to the UK’s Independent Drug Monitoring Unit. And a Yahoo News and Marist College survey found that of the 35 million adults in America using marijuana, 37 percent say they turned to marijuana for relaxation. A History Lesson During the Age of Discovery, physicians and clergymen pioneered the modern use of cannabis as a treatment for stress. In 1621, English clergyman Robert Burton endorsed cannabis for the treatment of depression. And In 1860, the Ohio State Medical Committee on Cannabis concluded: “As a calmative and hypnotic, in all forms of nervous inquietude and cerebral excitement, [cannabis] will be found an invaluable agent, as it produces none of those functional derangements or sequences that render many of the more customary remedies objectionable.” Washington State University at the Forefront As marijuana legalization spreads across the nation – and around the globe – new research demonstrates that these previous cultures were onto something. And scientists from Washington State University are among the leaders in this research. In a first-of-a-kind study earlier this year, Washington State University scientists examined how peoples’ self-reported levels of stress, anxiety and depression were affected by ingesting different quantities and types of cannabis. Their work, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, reveals that cannabis can significantly reduce short-term levels of depression, anxiety. The study marks one of the first efforts by American scientists to examine how cannabis with varying amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) affect consumers’ feelings of well-being when consumed outside of a research lab. “Existing research on the effects of cannabis on depression, anxiety and stress are very rare and have almost exclusively been done with orally administered THC pills in a laboratory,” according to Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology at WSU and lead author of the study. “What is unique about our study is that we looked at actual inhaled cannabis by medical marijuana patients who were using it in the comfort of their own homes as opposed to a laboratory.” Entourage Effect: THC and CBD Work Best Together The WSU researchers discovered that one puff of cannabis high in CBD and low in THC was optimal for reducing symptoms of depression. Two puffs of any type of cannabis reduced symptoms of anxiety. Ten or more puffs of cannabis high in CBD and high in THC produced the largest reductions in stress. “A lot of consumers seem to be under the false assumption that more THC is always better,” Cuttler told Science Daily. “Our study shows that CBD is also a very important ingredient in cannabis and may augment some of the positive effects of THC.” (The synergistic effect of CBD and THC working together is known as the Entourage Effect). Cannabis for Anxiety Reduction The researchers also found that while both genders reported decreases in all three symptoms after using cannabis, women reported a significantly greater reduction in anxiety following cannabis use. Greenlight Approved is a consumer education platform dedicated to “guiding the cannabis curious.” We believe when you start something new, it’s best to start slow. Gather all the information you can to make a safe informed decision. Let Greenlight Approved be your guide so your first experience with cannabis is an educated, safe and positive one. Let us be your resource and guide to participating retailers near you, at www.greenlightapproved.com. http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2018/jul/29/summer-got-you-feeling-stressed-cannabis-may-help/ Bongme
  20. hi Can Legal Cannabis Help Slow the Opioid Drug Epidemic in the U.S.? Imagine stopping 115 needless deaths in the U.S. every day. It's not a guarantee, but with recent developments in cannabis research, experts believe it could be on the horizon. Opioid drug overdoses claim those 115 lives every day in this country. About 60% of opioid addictions are rooted in prescription drug use for a number of ailments, ranging from chronic pain to sports-related injuries to personality disorders. That's where many see cannabis products coming in to help. Read More About Investing In Cannabis Via Real Money "One-hundred fifteen people die every day as a result of opiates nationwide. So from our vantage point, we think cannabis is a sensible solve to a lot of issues," said Acreage Holdings CEO Kevin Murphy. "I believe it's going to be the silver bullet over the next 20 to 30 years as it relates to medical." According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 21% to 29% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. Between 8% and 12% develop an opioid use disorder. Opioid overdoses increased 30% from July 2016 through September 2017. But while the opioid epidemic picked up both momentum and national attention, so too did the spread of regulated medical-use marijuana. Medical cannabis is currently legal in 30 states in the U.S., and has been legal across Canada since 1999. In a 2016 study by Dr. Dustin Sulak, 39% of opioid users who began using cannabis were able to completely stop opioid use and another 39% could reduce their opioid dosage. Sulak found that adding cannabis reduced pain by about 40% in nearly half the treated patients and improved function in 80% of them. "As an effective treatment for chronic pain, it can stop opiod addiction before it occurs," said Dr. Sherry Yafai, medical director of High Sobriety in Los Angeles. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of at least 113 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It'a not to be confused with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the cannabinoid in the plant with psychoactive effects. CBD is largely thought to maintain properties of healing and pain relief. But despite the anecdotal evidence from the likes of celebrities and viral social media apostles of the healing qualities of cannabis plants (see Kiss rocker Gene Simmons talk cannabis with TheStreet below), medical experts say there needs to be more research before cannabis can be billed as the solution to the opioid epidemic. For one, the cannabis plant is a complex one. Research professionals haven't yet identified all of the many, many compounds within the plant and how each may contribute to modern medicine. There's reason to believe CBD and THC, taken separately and together, can help with opioid treatment, withdrawal symptoms and pain management. As far as opioid use is concerned, cannabis compounds can enhance pain relief and other medical effects of opioid drugs. Taking cannabis with opioids also widens the therapeutic window, or the time between an effective dose of opioids and a lethal dose, Dr. Sulak said. But perhaps the biggest benefit of cannabis as a part of opioid treatment is that it doesn't carry the risk of overdose. https://www.thestreet.com/lifestyle/can-legal-cannabis-help-slow-the-opioid-drug-epidemic-14613856 Bongme
  21. Hi Published on 9 Jun 2018 TNMNews.com | Marijuana News, Cannabis Culture, Investing Bongme
  22. hi More Women Are Talking To Their Kids About Cannabis, & Experts Say That's Actually Good Almost half of mothers would prefer that their kids dabble with marijuana than alcohol, so more women are talking to their children about cannabis, according to a new study. The women surveyed in the study reportedly feel like they're stigmatized for their use of cannabis, but they're not alone in having conversations with their children about it. These conversations include everything from how to safely consume recreational cannabis to its medical benefits, according to the Georgia Straight, Canada's largest urban weekly. The study was conducted by Van der Pop, a cannabis blog and lifestyle brand. It found that 70 percent of the more than 1,500 North American women polled feel like they're criticized by friends, family, and colleagues for using cannabis, but 89 percent of women said they are talking to their children about cannabis anyway, the Georgia Straight reported. But they're not talking about it telling their kids not to try it — there's less cannabis shaming and warning, and there's a lot more pro-cannabis talk. Using marijuana during adolescence could have a long-term impact on a teen's memory, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking, according to CNN. But while many parents are therefore adviseaczxcd to talk to their kids about what they might lose if they use marijuana during their teenage years, evermore are talking to their kids about how to safely consume it and about its health benefits. Many kids are going to try it at some point anyway, according to Very Well Mind. Among those aged 18 or older who reported lifetime marijuana use, almost 53 percent reported first using marijuana between the ages 12 and 17 — and about two percent reported that they first used marijuana before age 12. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now have laws that legalize marijuana in some form. And the legality of marijuana use seems to have affected how kids perceive cannabis. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued new guidelines for doctors and parents to talk to teens about the risks of using marijuana because changes in the legal status of marijuana may lower teen perceptions of the risks, the organization said in a statement. In fact, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found a decrease in the percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds who said they believe there is a "great risk" in smoking marijuana once a month or one to two times per week. So women might as well be open with their kids about usage. We already know that mothers are more lax about marijuana use these days. More pregnant are smoking pot, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Among pregnant women 18 to 24, 9.8 percent smoked pot in 2009 and 19 percent smoked pot in 2016. While the increase in marijuana use for older age groups was still evident, it wasn't as steep; it rose from 3.4 percent to 5.1 percent among women 25 to 34 years old and from 2.1 percent to 3.3 percent among women older than 34. And 38 percent of parents in the recent Van der Pop also added that they feel like cannabis helps them be more playful and patient as parents. "Cannabis is not the enemy anymore, the way it was when I was growing up," April Pride, founder and CCO of Van der Pop (and mother herself) reportedly told the Georgia Straight. "Parents are closer to their kids and they have a much more transparent relationship surrounding cannabis." The more open parent-child relationships are, the safer children will be; so maybe more moms should be having "the weed talk" with their kids —without scaring them. Vid On Link Bongme
  23. hi Cannabis lounges not limited to Amsterdam anymore. Now, even California has them! On Link To much cut and paste... https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/the-new-amsterdam/slideshow/63313387.cms Bongme
  24. Hi 6 International Cannabis Strains Worth Seeking Abroad Travel is like cannabis; it broadens your perspectives…personally, culturally, and politically,” according to bestselling guidebook author and acclaimed PBS host Rick Steves. “Suddenly, the palette with which we paint the story of our lives has more colors.” For a cannabis enthusiast, this idea of expanding our palettes rings especially true, because even in our current heady era of rapidly advancing legalization, many of the world’s finest and most exotic cannabis strains can only be found in their regions of origin. So if we think of each varietal of the plant as its own unique hue, then we must travel widely to truly experience the species in all its technicolored glory. Much as your local liquor store carries wine and beer from around the world, we should be able to sample the finest cannabis available anywhere without leaving home. Another way to look at this is as an opportunity to get out and do some exploring. As a longtime cannabis journalist, I’ve had the good fortune to travel widely in parts of the world where the love of this plant flourishes, and I can report back that each place comes complete with a particular cannabis strain that’s a point of local pride. Some among the finest I’ve ever sampled. So what are we waiting for? Origin: Barcelona, Spain Much like the coffeeshops in the Netherlands, the cannabis social clubs that have cropped up in Barcelona and elsewhere in Spain over the last decade aren’t really legal, they’re just tolerated—for the most part. Clubs have been busted by the authorities in the past, and the Spanish legal system is still grappling with how to enforce (or not) a set of cannabis laws that allow for “personal” consumption in a “private” setting, without ever defining those terms. The city itself, of course, is one of the world’s ideal places to be stoned. Tapas is the ultimate stoner cuisine, and Gaudi is the best architect ever when you’re high. The most popular local strain when I was there some years ago was Jack Herer, an American-bred varietal that most assuredly flourishes beneath a Spanish sun. But to experience a truly homegrown phenomenon, take the time to track down Cannatonic, a high-CBD strain bred by Spanish seed bank Resin Seeds. With THC rarely above 7% and CBD potentially above 15%, it’s a cross of MK Ultra and G13 Haze with a “slight earthy odor and a mild, sweet, vaguely citrusy flavor.” While not providing much of a high due to its elevated CBD profile, the strain offers profound therapeutic relief for pain, inflammation, and anxiety. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a long hot day wandering La Rambla. Dr. Grinspoon Origin: Amsterdam, Netherlands As a travel destination, Amsterdam offers up many charms, from the picturesque canals and lively nightlife to the parks and museums and a place called Febo, where you can buy deep fried cheese out of a coin-operated automat in the middle of the night. The city’s also been a refuge for cannabis consumers and cannabis itself for decades. Not only have Amsterdam’s famed coffeeshops attracted visitors from around the world since they opened in the 1970s, they’ve also served as a safe haven for cannabis strains from every continent to escape prohibition. If you’re fortunate enough to make a visit, definitely sample some Neville’s Haze or any of its Haze cousins, and don’t miss out on the wide array of imported, traditionally made hashishes available from Morocco, Nepal, Afghanistan, and other distant lands. But if I had to recommend just one smoke in town, I’d say make an appointment with Dr. Grinspoon, a pure sativa heirloom strain bred by Barney’s Farm, a cannabis seed bank associated with one of Amsterdam’s top coffeeshops. Like all purebred sativas, the strain (named for medical cannabis advocate Dr. Lester Grinspoon) takes a long time to harvest and doesn’t yield very well—but who cares? You’re not growing it, you’re smoking it. And the soaring, cerebral, invigorating high will set you off on an adventure to remember (or forget) in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Lamb’s Bread Origin: Jamaica Jamaica has long been associated with ganja, a local word for cannabis that derives from an ancient Sanskrit word that reached the Caribbean in the mid 1800s, brought along by indentured servants freshly arrived from India. In time ganja spread to native born Jamaicans. In particular, the Indians’ use of cannabis as a spiritual sacrament would be adopted by Jamaica’s Rastafarian community. Add in the global impact of reggae music, and the indelible idea of Jamaica as a cannabis paradise took root in the public’s imagination. Even though, until recently, cannabis remained highly illegal and the laws against it seriously enforced. Happily, however, that all began to change in 2015, when a new law decriminalized up to two ounces of cannabis and made personal grows legal. So how best to celebrate if you happen to be lucky enough to make a pilgrimage? Well, nothing could be more appropriate than rolling up a joint of Lamb’s Bread—the definitive Jamaican cannabis strain, and purportedly Bob Marley’s favorite throughout his life. A bright, green, sticky heirloom sativa, it’s an uplifting, inspiring, energizing high that pairs nicely with a cup of local Blue Mountain coffee if you really want to get your day started right. Origin: Malawi Revered as a food, fiber, and medicine, cannabis flourished throughout Malawi until 1964, when the newly independent republic joined the United Nations and adopted the UN’s Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Fifty years of mandated federal enforcement later, what the locals call chumba, and the world calls Malawi Gold, remains a vital cash crop throughout the impoverished African nation, but growers now plant their seeds in remote mountain clearings, hoping to elude the authorities. According to a 2011 report from the World Bank, Malawian farmers harvest around 150,000 pounds of remarkably potent cannabis in this manner every year, the vast majority bound for Europe. The plant remains illicit to this day, but there’s a strong movement in Malawi to legalize both cannabis and hemp. Famous throughout Africa for its potency, Malawi Gold is a pure sativa strain that’s slow to mature, with a flowering time of up to 120 days before it’s ready to harvest. But it’s worth the wait to smoke the long, resin-coated buds that have made the strain famous far beyond Malawi’s borders. Cheese Origin: United Kingdom Britain’s cannabis scene isn’t well known for producing high quality cannabis or award-winning strains, with one notable exception. An indica-dominant hybrid named for its sharply sour aroma, Cheese has been the herbal pride of the United Kingdom since the late 1980s. Local legend has it the original Cheese (sometimes called Original Cheese) descended from a Skunk #1 phenotype that was selected for future breeding based on its incredibly pungent aroma. The most popular modern version comes from Big Buddha Seeds, and features the same pungent funky aroma plus the addition of Afghani indica genetics to increase trichome production and yield. Big Buddha’s version put Cheese on the global map when it took home top honors in the Sativa category at the 2006 Cannabis Cup and has been spreading out geographically ever since. But it’s still best enjoyed at home, in Merry Old England, paired with a cup of Earl Grey and some tasty crumpets. Island Sweet Skunk Origin: Vancouver Island British Colombia—Canada’s westernmost province—stretches from the ocean to the Rocky Mountains. The region became a hotbed for cannabis cultivation starting back in the 1960s, when the ranks of the area’s homegrown farmers were swelled by the arrival of draft resisters from the US who began fleeing to Canada to avoid service in the Vietnam War. With its capital city of Vancouver eventually earning the nickname Vansterdam for its tolerance of cannabis coffeeshops, and the entire province boasting vast stretches of remote land in which to grow cannabis, a culture of tolerance and acceptance took hold in BC even in the darkest days of Canada’s cannabis prohibition. And now that it’s legal nationwide, British Colombia remains the ultimate Canadian cannabis travel destination, a place of natural beauty and vibrant culture. Island Sweet Skunk was originally bred on Vancouver Island, a 290-mile long, largely undeveloped stretch of coastlines and mountains just off the Pacific coast. A sativa with an electric buzz and a flavor profile that mixes classic skunky notes with ripe grapefruit undertones, the strain is a descendant of Skunk #1 and grows tall, straight, high-yielding plants. https://www.leafly.com/news/strains-products/6-international-cannabis-strains-worth-seeking-abroad Bongme
  25. Hi New studies show that legal cannabis access reduces opioid abuse Scientific data is growing nearly by the day in support of the notion that legalized cannabis can mitigate opioid use and abuse. For instance, among states where medical cannabis access is permitted, patients routinely lessen their opioid intake. According to data published this week by the Minnesota Department of Health, among those patients known to be taking opiate painkillers upon their enrollment into the program, 63 percent “were able to reduce or eliminate opioid usage after six months.” Minnesota’s findings are hardly unique. In 2016 there was data gathered from patients enrolled in Michigan’s cannabis access program reported that marijuana treatment “was associated with a 64 percent decrease in opioid use, decreased number and side effects of medications, and an improved quality of life.” A review of state-registered patients from various northeastern states yielded similar results, finding, 77 percent of respondents acknowledged having reduced their use of opioids following cannabis therapy. A significant percentage of respondents also reported decreasing their consumption of anti-anxiety medications (72 percent), migraine-related medications (67 percent), sleep aids (65 percent), and antidepressants (38 percent). A 2017 assessment of medical cannabis patients in Illinois revealed that participants in the state-run program frequently reported using marijuana "as an alternative to other medications -- most commonly opioids, but also anticonvulsants, anti-inflammatories, and over-the-counter analgesics." New Mexico patient data reports: Compared to non-users, medical cannabis enrollees "were more likely either to reduce daily opioid prescription dosages between the beginning and end of the sample period (83.8 percent versus 44.8 percent) or to cease filling opioid prescriptions altogether (40.5 percent versus 3.4 percent)." Two just-published clinical trials from Israel — where medical cannabis use is legally permitted — further affirm this phenomenon. In the first study, which assessed cannabis use among the elderly, investigators reported that over 18 percent of the study's participants "stopped using opioid analgesics or reduced their dose" over a six-month period. They concluded, "Cannabis can decrease the use of other prescription medicines, including opioids." In the second trial, which assessed the safety and efficacy of cannabis in a cohort of over 1,200 cancer patients, scientists reported that nearly half of respondents reported either decreasing or eliminating their use of opioids during the treatment period Another recently published clinical trial provides insight into explaining this relationship. Investigators from Columbia University’s Medical Center assessed the efficacy of low doses of inhaled cannabis and sub-therapeutic doses of oxycodone on experimentally-induced pain in a double-blind, placebo-controlled model. Researchers assessed subjects’ pain tolerance after receiving both substances separately or in concert with one another. While neither the administration of cannabis nor oxycodone alone significantly mitigated subjects’ pain, the combined administration of both drugs did so effectively. Authors determined, “Both active cannabis and a low dose of oxycodone (2.5 mg) were sub-therapeutic, failing to elicit analgesia on their own; however, when administered together, pain responses … were significantly reduced, pointing to the opioid-sparing effects of cannabis.” They concluded, “Smoked cannabis combined with an ineffective analgesic dose of oxycodone produced analgesia comparable to an effective opioid analgesic dose without significantly increasing cannabis abuse liability.” The data is consistent and clear. For many patients, cannabis offers a viable alternative to opioids. It is time for the administration to stop placing political ideology above the health and safety of the American public, and to acknowledge the well-established efficacy of medical marijuana in the treatment of chronic pain. http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/376643-new-studies-show-that-legal-cannabis-access-reduces-opioid-abuse Bongme